The so-called ‘quiet period’ posted at the White Rock train tracks from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. has been reasonably effective, at least for us, for the past 25 years.
Unfortunately, the tragic death of an inattentive jogger at East Beach nearly three years ago has created a living nightly hell for many of us.
With the advent of shipping U.S. thermal coal to Deltaport for China, the nightly train horns have been extremely disruptive to our sleep, with horns starting at 6 a.m.
Note that Oregon and Washington residents also are fighting against these coal shipments and the building of any coal-shipping ports in their states. They can’t all be elites living close to the BNSF tracks who, God forbid, didn’t notice the tracks before moving to the area.
Remember that several Lower Mainland cities fought the planned new coal trans-shipment terminal on the Fraser River to China. One reason they are doing this is for health reasons: primarily coal pollution but noise pollution may be included. It has been proven that noise and lack of sleep affects one’s health and is the reason some airports in Europe prevent plane departures after 11 p.m.
We find it appalling that some recent (Sound views strike discord, May 13 letters) and earlier letter writers lack empathy for people who are negatively affected by sleep-disrupting train horns.
In the past, some have even waxed enthusiastic about the sound of train horns – especially when they aren’t in their face. That’s their right, but don’t call the rest of us elites and chastise us for moving to White Rock without foreseeing that 25 years later we would have our sleep disrupted multiple times a night.
In addition, it is galling to have minimal economic benefits to Canada as well as increased pollution here and in China, which contributes to global warming.
Furthermore, we do understand that some of the letter writers who don’t care about others with extremely disrupted sleep is because they are concerned that the BNSF tracks would be moved close to them. Believe us, this is not going to happen soon – if ever – and certainly not because of the train horns blasting us out of sleep every two hours.
If it happens, it will be caused by fears of a train derailment with subsequent spillage of toxic materials like chlorine gas killing many people.
We hope the City of White Rock can work with BNSF and the Canadian Rail Safety Agency to find a cost-effective solution to this divisive horn-blasting problem.
W. & P. Millar, White Rock